April 20, 2011

art and life, tangled together.

Before Radley and I met, during a phase of lingering heartbreak and self pity, the thing I wrote about most was love. Anything and everything on the page was obviously, shamelessly, focused on the most romantic and extravagant kinds of love. The big "L" word. It was as if, in writing it, I felt that I'd discover it again for myself. Find someone new to fill the pages.

And, well, luckily enough--I did.

Themes shifted after that. The things I write about now, three years later, aren't at all centered on love anymore, at least in the girl-meets-boy sort of way. Not usually, that is. Lately, new types of love have swept into the storylines: complicated, unconditional friendships, powerful parent dynamics, and then, of course--best of all--self-love.

My stories are less happily ever after. Now, they're more and then she began to wonder... 

It makes sense when you think about it. Once I found the best kind of love in real life, I didn't have to search for it on the page anymore. Not as desperately, anyway. Art and life get tangled that way, I suppose. I still write love stories, of course, but they've grown more complicated--more real. And meanwhile, I can't help but wonder what it is that I'm looking for now--what it is that I'm wrestling with in the stories I write day after day. 

And sometimes, I wonder where the page stops.
Where the real stuff really begins.
Sometimes, it's hard to tell.

(Photo: Emily Davis)

10 comments:

becky said... [Reply to comment]

I love that about writing---its deep, cathartic effect. But I also love real writing---writing that you relate to because you've seen that person or that person or felt that particular thing. And sometimes the situations aren't even real to you---but there is absolute perfection and skill in the way you can relate, in the humanity of it all. Yet a lot of literary romance, for me, is not in the relationships or the situations but rather the style---the confetti words arranged in a certain, perfect way. That's its beauty.

Sara said... [Reply to comment]

I never actually thought about that, but what I have noticed is that I wrote best when I was depressed, or so I think..

Emma said... [Reply to comment]

That's really lovely. x

Baily Jones said... [Reply to comment]

Loved this post... totally understand where you are coming from! Sending you mid-week peace&love!

pickingwildflowersblog.blogspot.com

Jade said... [Reply to comment]

this is so inspiring! i try not to write too much about love-y things because it always makes me depressed, thinking "why can't i make this guy come to real life?" i'm writing a somewhat bitter story about horrible family dynamics, and a girl who is percieved in a way that isn't true

Jade said... [Reply to comment]

sorry, another thing! can you post a link to some of your short stories, i really like your writing. thanks :)

Whit said... [Reply to comment]

I feel the same way. I think lately, since I know I have a big love in my life, I've been searching for self-love, and trying to find things that make me happy, instead of looking for someone.
Great writing, very insightful!

xoxo
Whit

Rachael said... [Reply to comment]

I love your posts. They're always so well thought out. You're really..what is the word?...Introspective? I think that's what I mean. But I love it. Because I am too!
That's great that you've found a great love in your life! Although I've never heard your 'girl meets boy' story! Have you ever posted it?

Hannah Elizabeth said... [Reply to comment]

not to completely divert from my usually awkward and seemingly unrelated comments but...

...I really love this. It got me thinking about how not only my writing has changed since I've been in a relationship (and even before that when I began to be comfortable with the idea of being single. go figure that as soon as I'm happy being single I get a boy) but also my reading. I find that now I'm more drawn to books that talk about the love between friends and the dynamic that takes place there.

I just watched a really great movie called Timer. I think you would like it (although I have to say I almost threw the pillow at the TV in the last five minutes so be prepared). It's about a society that gives you a timer on your wrist that tells you the exact day you will meet your "soul mate" (creepy right?). (Um...P.S.- just have to say that last sentence took all my English skills to punctuate and I'm still not sure I did it right). But the relationship in the movie I became the most fascinated with with the relationship between the two sisters with, in their own words, "the fucked up timers" (one of them had a blank timer, meaning her soul mate hadn't gotten one yet, and the other had a timer that was saying she wouldn't meet her soul mate till she was 42) they had a pretty hysterically awesome and really sweet, when it came down to it, relationship.

wow...that was a long comment with a lot of bunny trails. how appropriate for Easter...yeah...that's it...Easter. mk the end.

Bryan said... [Reply to comment]

bomb ass post.